With its almost two million readers per day, De Telegraaf is the largest newspaper of the Netherlands. De Telegraaf is known as a newspaper that is loyal to the royal family, and mainly shows this through its usually extensive coverage of matters related to the royal family

On January 28, 2013, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced that she would abdicate on the 30th of April so that her son, crown prince Willem-Alexander, could take her place.

For De Telegraaf, this was a unique opportunity in playing our role in connecting the Dutch and to bolster our image as a royal family-loyal newspaper to sell more newspapers and advertisements around this event.

Central to the campaign was the “Apple of Orange,” the symbol of the connection between the Dutch people and the royal couple. De Telegraaf designed a pin for everybody who is sympathetic to the royal couple.

To strengthen the campaign, we sought cooperation with the Oranje Fonds (Orange Fund). The new royal couple, Willem-Alexander and Maxima, are patrons of this organisation. The pin was distributed with De Telegraaf in the weekend before the inauguration on April 30, 2013.

We built the campaign on three pillars, and our goal was to create value for the pin:

  • Create credibility for the newspaper.

  • Stimulate collectivism among the Dutch people.

  • Activation to wear the pin and subscribe to De Telegraaf.

The media company’s editorial office played an important role by offering the pin to prominent figures in the Netherlands and reporting on this on the front page of the print edition. 

We stimulated collectivism with a media campaign in our own media; in print, online, on radio and on TV. We activated the Dutch people to wear the pin on the 30th of April and activated non-subscribers to buy De Telegraaf with the pin. 

As a spin-off from this event, De Telegraaf published a colourful book with a report and unique images of the inauguration of the new king. This book was available less than a week after the inauguration. 

Embracing this event brought very positive results in three areas: 

1. Newspaper sales: The “Apple of Orange” brought about a large number of extra sales, not only for the special edition newspaper with the pin, but also the newspapers around the announcement and the abdication. This is due to highly impactful front pages, made by our editor’s office.

  • Jan 29 (day after abdication announcement): +59%.

  • Jan 30 (two days after abdication announcement): +17%.

  • April 27 (day the Apple of Orange pin was distributed with the newspaper): +81%.

  • April 30 (day of the inauguration of the new king): +70%.

  • May 1 (day after the inauguration): +30%.

2. Advertising sales: Around the inauguration, advertisement sales were pitched to so-called hitchers, which resulted in an increase in turnover of 118% in the week of the inauguration. 

3. Spin-off sales: The book On the Throne has been sold 11,500 times. The book has also been used as a premium with a subscription, which has resulted in 7,000 extra subscriptions. The book generated an extra net income of €100,000.